MASS MURDERERS IN WHITE
(FROM HARVARD TO BUCHENWALD: A
CHRONOLOGY OF PSYCHIATRY AND EUGENICS)
By Lenny Lapon
The attitudes and practices of psychiatrists in Nazi Germany that enabled them to slaughter 3oo,ooo of their patients were similar to these of psychiatrists and psychologists of the same period in the United States. In both countries these attitudes had common roots. And most importantly, these same attitudes, theories and practices are still prevalent today in our own country (and throughout most of the world). That they have not yet resulted in as large a psychiatric holocaust here as in Nazi Germany should be considered only as a warning and should not prevent us from stopping the spread of this psychiatric malignancy (if you'll forgive the medical metaphor).
Two recent books that give a thorough description of the development and continued presence of many. of these views and theories are: 1. The Legacy of Malthus: The Social Costs of New Scientific Racism and 2. From "Genesis to Genocide: The Meaning of Human Nature and the Power of Behaviour Control by Stephen L. Chorover. Many of the pseudoscientific, psychiatric and social theories that advocate locking up (i.e. "institutionalisation"), sterilisation and killing (i.e. euthanasia) of people considered by some to be 'not worthy of living' fall under the heading of eugenics. My 1966 copy of Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary defines eugenics as "science that deals with the improvement (as by control of human setting) of hereditary qualities of a race or breed." The idea that one race or group of people is superior to another is, of course, a racist, political and pseudoscientific, not scientific, idea. Unfortunately, many people considered to be scientists and "social scientists" advocate this type of racism and discrimination. 'Socio-biology' is, a related pseudoscience that claims to give biological reasons (e.g., heredity, chemical imbalances in the blood and brain, etc.) for social and political actions and conditions. Eugenicists and sociobiologists have been blaming the victims of poverty, unemployment, racism and other discriminations for their condition for over a hundred years now.
There are many psychiatrists and psychologists who do not believe that mental illness and mental retardations are inherited or biologically or chemically caused. They look instead at the "patient's" environment, though usually not much beyond the family. Yet they still treat the pain and suffering of people who are so labeled with many, if not all, of the same torturous methods as the "genetically-orientated' doctors. They call us by the some degrading and dehumanizing labels - 'Schizophrenic', 'Psychotic', 'Mentally defective' -and they forcibly commit people to psychiatric institutions, give them/us drugs,
electroshock and even psychosurgery. They use, as well, the techniques of behavior modification in an attempt to force changes in behavior and attitudes by controlling the person's environment, a most inhumane and totally undemocratic concept - B.F. Skinner. And they use isolation cells and shackles which they euphemistically call 'quiet rooms' and 'restraints'.
The following is a chronology that demonstrates some of the similarities in the origins and parallel development of eugenic and psychiatric ideas and practices in the United States and Germany. In the case of Germany, most of the included events occurred before or during the Nazi period. In the case of the U.S., events up to the present are included. The list has a few entries for other countries and could have included other examples. Further information can be obtained from the sources cited in the references and especially from the works of Chase and Chorover just mentioned.
I do not mean to imply that all people Labelled "mentally ill" are experiencing severe emotional pain. Many are, but many also get labelled 'psychotic', 'manic', etc. for being "too happy" or for not wanting to conform to certain values imposed by society (i.e. not behaving appropriately).
1851 A respected white physician, Dr. Samuel A. Cartwright created a mental illness peculiar to Black people. The effort of the slave to gain his freedom by running away from the plantation, he said, was a symptom of a serious mental disease called DRAPETOMANIA. Dr. Cartwright maintained that this hideous condition could be cured by recapturing the 'patient', rubbing him down with oil and beating him into submission.
1869. The English psychologist Francis Galton, cousin of Charles Darwin, published Hereditary Genius. Cornell University anthropology professor Davydd Greenwood described this work as "an impassioned brief for hereditary aristocracy that became the first modern document of the modern eugenics movement." Charover wrote of this book: Galton's inquiry into hereditary genius' led him to view "the incompetent, the ailing, and the desponding" as a threat to the well- being of society because of their habit "of producing large numbers of impoverished, sick, and miserable children." The upper classes, he argued, should be encouraged to have more children, whereas the lower classes should be induced, if possible, or compelled if necessary to have fewer. Galton's racist view of Blacks was made clear when he wrote, 'The average intellectual standard of the Negro is some two grades below our own.'
1075. U.S. Immigration law excluded 'coolies', convicts, and prostitutes as "undesirable aliens."
1882. "Lunatics and Idiots" were added to those excluded under U.S. immigration law. 1883. Galton introduced the term Eugenics to describe ideas and proposed practices of racist superiority and sterilization.
1884. Galton stated "The Jews are specialized for parasitical existence upon other nations."
1890's. The superintendent of a Kansas home for the feeble minded castrated 58 children before public revulsion forced him to stop.
1895. German eugenicist Dr. Alfred Ploetz published "The Excellence of Our Race and the Protection of the Weak", in which he attempted to show "That a misdirected humanitarianism was threatening the quality of the race by, fostering the protection of its weaker numbers."
1897. In his presidential address before the American Association for the Study of Feeble-mindedness. Dr. M.W. Barr strongly advocated sterilization.
1898. A eugenic sterilization bill was unsuccessfully introduced into the Michigan Legislature. It provided for the castration of all inmates of the Michigan Home for the Feebleminded and Epileptic.
1900-1903. Wilhelm Schallmayer won an essay contest sponsored by Alfred Krupp, the head of Germany's largest armaments company for answering the question, 'What does the theory of evolution teach us in regard to the internal political development end legislation of States?' Schallmayer put forward a eugenics program that included premarital screening by doctors for 'undesirable' inheritable traits. In his prize- winning book, 'Inheritance and Selection in the Life-History of Nations: A Sociopolitical Study Based Upon The Newer Biology [Sociobiology].
1903. Epileptics and insane persons were added to those 'undesirable' aliens excluded under U.S. Immigration law.
1904. The Carnegie Institution of Washington, a corporate foundation endowed by Andrew Carnegie, the steel tycoon, established a biological experiment station at Cold Spring Harbor. New York. Eugenicist Charles Benedict Davenport was its first director in both the U.S. and Germany. The eugenics movement was in large part supported by corporate funds.
Alfred Ploetz founded the Archiv fur Ration Rassen Gesellschaftbiologie (Archive for Racial and Social Biology), the chief journal of the German eugenics of hygiene movement.
1907. Indiana passed the world's first compulsory sterilisation law for all "confirmed criminals, idiots, rapists and imbeciles who were confined in State institutions. By 1980 thirty states and the colony of Puerto Rico posted similar laws.
Imbeciles and feeble-minded persons were added to those 'undesirable' aliens excluded under U.S. Immigration law.
1912. The first international Congress of Eugenics was held at the University of London. The president of the Congress was Major Leonard Darwin son of Charles Darwin. One of the English vice- presidents was First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill, later Prime Minister. German vice-presidents included M. von Gruber, professor of hygiene at Munich and Dr. Alfred Ploetz president of the International Society for Race Hygiene. American vice-presidents included Charles W. Eliot, president emeritus of Harvard University and Alexander Graham Bell.
Psychologist Henry Goddard published The Kallika Family: A Study in the Heredity of Feeblemindedness. in this year Goddard also administered IQ tests to immigrants to Ellis Island, finding that 83 percent of the Jews and 80 percent of the hungarians, 79 percent of the Italians and 87 percent of the Russians who wanted to enter the United States were "feeble-minded."
1914. The First National Congress on Race Betterment was held in Battle Creek, Michigan. A 'segregation and sterilisation' program was proposed to reduce the number of "defective and antisocial" people in the population from 10 percent to 5.77 percent by 1955 by sterilizing 3.76 million Americans.
By 1914 eugenics was taught in the U.S. at Harvard, Columbia, Cornell, Brown, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Clark and other universities. In Germany, in this year, the Reichstag (the German parliament) considered a eugenics sterilization law. 1916. Madison Grant published The Passing Of the Great Race, or the Racial Basis of European History, in New York, in which he stated: Mistaken regard for what are believed to be divine laws and a sentimental belief in the sanctity of human life tend to prevent both the elimination of defective infants and the sterilization of such adults as are themselves of no value to a community. The laws of nature require the obliteration of the unfit and human life is valuable only when of use to the community or race. Lewis M. Terman, Professor of psychology at Stanford University published the Stanford Binot IQ test in the United States. Chorover credited Terman with 'injecting race into the IQ debate.' Terman claimed that mental deficiency is very common in Spanish-Indian and Mexican families...and also among Negros. He also warned that "if we would preserve our state for a class of people worthy to possess it, we must prevent, as far as possible, the propagation of mental degenerates."
1920. Alfred Mocha, professor of psychiatry and director of the psychiatric clinic in Freiburg, and Karl Binding, a German judge published The Release of the Destruction of Life Devoid of Value in Leipzig. His work advocated the killing of people labelled "mentally ill" and "mentally defective" and used the euphemism "euthanasia". Some quotes from this book are:
...All the institutions for mentally sick persons... the tremendous care that these creatures receive; creatures of no value at all... incurable idiots... have no will for life or for death. They give no definite consent to the euthanasia.... Their life is completely useless, but
they don' t consider it unbearable. For the idiots... the continuation of life for society as well as for the person himself has no value.
Dr. John E. Lind, a psychiatrist at St. Elizabeths hospital in Washington, published his racist view of low "Psychology of the African" in the Psychoanalytic Review: The precocity of the children, the early onset of puberty, the failure to grasp subjective ideas , the strong sexual and herd instincts with the few inhibitions, the simple dream life, the easy reversion to savagery when deprived of the restraining influence of the whites (as in Haiti and Uberial), the tendency to seek expression in such rhythmic means as music and dancing, the low resistance to such toxins as syphlilis and alchohol, the sway of superstition, all these and many other things betray the savage heart beneath the civilized exterior. Because he wears a Palm Beach suit instead of a string of cowries (brightly colored shells) carries a gold-headed cane instead of a spear, uses the telephone instead of beating the drum from hill to hill and for jungle path has substituted the pay-so-you-enter streetcar, his psychology is no less than that of an African. 1921. The Second international Congress of Eugenics was held in New York. The sponsoring committee included Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover and the presidents of Clark University, Smith College and the Carnegie Institution of Washington. 1922. H H Laughlin, the Expert Eugenics Agent of the United States House of Representatives Committee on immigration and Naturalization published the Model Eugenical Sterilization Law. This model formed a basis for any state sterilisation laws and for Nazi Germany's 1933 law. Laughlin listed the categories of people who were to be subjected to mandatory Sterilization:
The socially inadequate classes, regardless of etiology or prognosis... are the following: Feeble-minded; insane (including the psychopathic); Criminalistic (including the delinquent and wayward); Epileptic; Inebriate (including drug-habitues); Diseased (including the tuberculous, the syphilitic, the leprous, and others with chronic, infectious, and legally segregable diseases); Blind (including those with seriously impaired vision); Deformed (including the crippled). and Dependent (including orphans, naer-do-wells, the homeless, tramps and paupers.)
1925. Adolf Hitler published Mein Kampf to the glee of the eugenicists. Hitler's book included the following statements:
It is a half measure to let incurably sick people steadily contaminate the remaining healthy ones.... The demand that defective people be prevented from propagating equally defective offspring is a demand of the clearest reason and if systematically executed represents the most humane act of mankind. It will spare millions of unfortunates undeserved sufferings, and consequently will lead to a rising improvement of health as whole.
The stronger must dominate and not blend with the weaker, thus sacrificing his own greatness. Only the born weakling can view this as cruel, but he after all is only a weak and limited man. It was and it is Jews who bring the Negroes into the Rhineland, always with the same secret thought and clear aim of ruining the hated white race by the necessarily resulting bastardization, throwing it down from its cultural and political height.
The folkish state must make up for what everyone else today has neglected in this field. It must set race in the center at all life. It must take care to keep it pure.... It must see to it that only the healthy beget children; that there is only one disgrace: despite one's own sickness and deficiencies, to bring children into the world.... It must put the most modern medical mean's to the service of this knowledge. It must declare unfit for propagation all who are in any way visibly sick or who have inherited a disease... and put this into actual practice.
Those who are physically and mentally unhealthy and unworthy must not perpetuate their suffering in the body of their children.
1927. Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote the United States Supreme Court's decision in Buck v. Bell. Buck was Carrie Buck, a 11-year old girl committed to the State Colony for Epileptics and Feeble-Minded in Virginia, where Bell was the superintendent. Carrie's mother was also an inmate at the same institution. Carrie had recently given birth to a child and the state of Virginia wanted to have her sterilized against her will. Associate Justice Holmes wrote.
The judgment finds the facts that have been recited and that Carrie Buck is the probably potential parent of socially inadequate offspring, likewise afflicted, and she may be sexually sterilized without detriment to her general health and that her welfare and that of society will be promoted by her sterilization, and thereupon makes the order... We have seen more then once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for those lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned. in order to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world. If instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from brooding their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes.... Three generations ofimbeciles are enough.
1927-1933. During this period Austrian psychiatrist Manfred Sakei developed insulin shock (ICT-Insulin Coma Treatment) in Berlin and Vienna. This is a procedure whereby the "patient' is injected with enough insulin to induce a coma. Leonard Roy Frank wrote, "Although the rate of death from ICT is usually reported by psychiatrists as being from O.5 to 2 percent, one extensive 1941 study of state hospitals revealed a 4.9 percent death rate. That ICT was used extensively in Nazi Germany indicated by the statement of psychiatrist Helmut Ehrhardt," "Already by 1937 there was, I think, no neuropsychiatric university clinic in Germany in which ICT was not used."
Ehardt is a German psychiatrist who is also a member of the American Psychiatric Association. He was trained in Nazi Germany at the University of Breslau where he received a Ph.D. in psychology in 1939 and an M.D. in 1941.
1930. Ernst Rudin professor of psychiatry at Munich and director of the Department of Heredity at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute visited the United States and was praised by leaders of the Carnegie Foundation. Rudin, later architect of Nail Germany's sterilisation law was financially supported in his work by a large grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.
1932. The Third International Congress of Eugenics was held in New York. Dr. Theodore Russell Roble of the Essex County Mental Hygiene Clinic in New Jersey presented "Selective Sterilisation for Race Culture" in which he called for the sterilization of at least the 14,000,000 Americans who had received low intelligence test scores since World War 1. In this third year of the Great Depression, Roble said:
...there are those who believe that our population has already attained a greater number than is necessary for the efficient functioning of the race as a whole. Certainly our present picture of millions of unemployed would point to the belief that this suggestion is a reasonable one. It would undoubtedly be found, if such research was possible, that a major portion of this vast army of unemployed are social inadequates, and in many cases mental defectives. who might have been spared the misery they are now facing if they had never been born. It would certainly be understandable how many of them would prefer not to have been born, if they could have known what was in store for them on this Earth where the struggle for existence, and the urge toward the survival of the fittest makes it necessary for all those who would survive to possess a native [genetic] endowment of at least average intelligence.
1933. Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Socialist (Nazi)Party-came to power in Germany. An article by Dr. M.H. Goering, a cousin of Marshal Herman Goering appeared in Germany's Journal of Psychotherapy, instructing psychotherapists to make a serious scientific study of Adolf Hitler's fundamental work Mein Kampf, and to recognize it as a basic work. Carl Jung, the world-famous psychiatrist was the editor of this journal. Madison Grant published Conquest of a Continent a "Racial history of the United States" and had copies sent to Mussolini, Nazi Professor Dr. Eugen Fischer at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for the Study of Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics in Berlin, Dr. Alfred Rosenberg (Hitler's chief scientific adviser) and to Nazi race hygienist Professor Dr. Fritz Lenz at the University of Munich.
Hitler put into law the Nazi Act for Averting Descendants Afflicted with Hereditary Diseases. This sterilization law was directly based on H.H. Laughlin's Model Eugenical Sterilization Law of 1922. Compare the categories of victims under Laughlins model (check 1922 in this chronology) with the following criteria for sterilization used by the Nazi Eugenic Courts that were set up in 1933:
; (1) Congenital Mental Deficiency;
; (2) Schizophrenia, or split personality;
; (3) Manic-depressive Insanity;
; (4) Inherited Epilepsy;
; (5) Inherited Chores;
; (6) Inherited Blindness;
; (7) Inherited Deafness;
; (8) Any grave physical defect that has been inherited;
; (9) Chronic alcoholism, whom this has been scientifically determined to be
symptomatic of psychological abnormality ...
Between 1931 and 1939, 375,000 forced sterilisations were performed under this act. Accordlng to Wallace R. Duell, a German correspondent for the Chicago Daily News, the official rationales were as follows -
; Congenital feeble-
; mindedness 203,250
; Schizophrenia 73,125
; Epilepsy 57,730
; Acute alcoholism 28.500
; Manic-depressive insanity 6,000
; Hereditary deafness 2,575
; Severe hereditary physical- deformity 1,875
; Hereditary blindness 1,125
; St. Vitus' dance 750
According to the Central Association of Sterilized Persons organized in Germany in 1945, the total number of people sterilized under Hitler's Third Reich (1913-1945) was two million.
N.H. Laughlin received an honorary degree from Germany's Heidelberg University, a major Nazi research centre on "race purification' for his contributions to eugenics. 1934. Psychiatry professor Ernst Rudin wrote that it was thanks to Hitler that the dream we have cherished for more than thirty years of seeing racial hygiene converted into action has become reality.
1935. Egos Moniz performed the first lobotomy in Portugal. Four years later he was shot and partially paralyzed by a victim of one of his lobotomies, and in 1955 he was beaten to death by another of his "patients" who obviously didn't want his "help".
The Nazis instituted the Law for the Protection of the Genetic Health of the German People, which required couples to have a medical examination before marriage. It forbade marriage if one person was considered genetically defective. It also did not allow marriage between Jews and Aryans and was later extended to include Gypsies, slaves and other people deemed inferior.
Dr. Alexis Carrel, a French-American Nobel Prize winner published "Man, The Unknown" in which he advocated killing the "mentally ill and criminals" in "euthanasia" institutions. In his last chapter, "The Remaking of Man" Carrel wrote: There remains the unsolved problem of the immense number of defectives and criminals. They are an enormous burden for the part of the population that has remained normal.... Why do we preserve these useless and harmful beings?... Why should society not dispose of the criminals and the insane in a more economical manner?.... in Germany, the Government has taken energetic measures against the multiplication of inferior types, the insane and criminals.... Perhaps prisons should be abolished. They could be replaced by smaller and less expensive institutions. The conditioning of petty criminals with the whip or some more scientific procedures, followed by a short stay in hospital, would probably suffice to insure order. Those who have murdered, robbed while armed.... kidnapped children, despoiled the poor of their savings, misled the public in important matters, should be humanely and economically disposed of in small euthanasia institutions supplied with proper gases. A similar treatment could be advantageousy applied to the insane, those guilty of criminal acts. Modern society should not hesitate to organise itself with reference to the normal individual.
1936. Wolter Freeman and James W. Watts introduced lobotomy into the United States. 1937. Professor Ernest A. Hooten, a Harvard University anthropologist and president of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists was described in the New York Times as one of the leading authorities on human evolution and was quoted as follows: ... probably compulsory sterilization alone would serve in the case of the insane and the mentally deficient, but it is very difficult to enforce such a "measure" in a democracy, unless it has been preceded by an educational campaign which has reached all of the teachable and socially minded individuals of the electorate.... I think that a biological purge is the essential prerequisite for a social and spiritual salvation.
A few days later Hooten urged the. U.S. "to encourage a sit-down reproductive strike of the busy breeders among the morons, criminals and social ineffectual of our population." The German edition of Madison Grant's Conquest of a Continent was published in Berlin with a special forward by Professor Dr. Eugen Fischer of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute. Fischer wrote, "'No one has as much reason to note the work of the this man [Grant] with the keenest of attention as does a German of today-in a time when the racial idea has become one of the chief foundations of National Socialist States population policies.
1938. Ugo Cerletti became the first to use electroshock (ECT-electro- convulsive treatments) on a human being. It was done in fascist Italy. Carletti got the idea from watching hogs get shocked into unconsciousness before they were killed at a slaughterhouse. The first victim was a 39-year old engineer who had been arrested at a railroad station for meandering about without a ticket on trains ready for departures. After the first shock of 80 volts, which failed to produce a convulsion, and before the second one, of 110 volts, which did the "Patient" cried out, "O not another one it's deadly" Present at this first administration of electroshock was Lothar S. Kalinowsky who today is a member of the American Psychiatric Association and has been one of the most avid proponents and users of this torture in the United States. Kalinowsky has authored several books and hundreds of articles on electroshock.
Franz J. Kaliman a well-known German born and educated U.S. psychiatrist who worked in Nazi Germany until 1936 wrote in Eugenical News that "compulsory sterilisation of all hospitalized schizophrenics would not prevent more than from 1 percent to 3 percent schizophrenic individuals" from being born. According to researcher Peter Broggin, Kaliman therefore called for "legal power" to sterilize tainted children and, siblings of schizophrenics and to prevent marriages involving "schizoid eccentrics and borderline cases."
1939. Psychiatrists in Nazi Germany began murdering ,mental patients at Brandenberg, one of the six 'kill' institutions used for the 'Euthanasia' program. At least 300,000 people labelled 'mentally ill' and 'mentally defective' were slaughtered by gassing, starvation and injection of lethal drugs by the end of World War 2, in 1945.
1941. Viktor Brack, one of the heads of the "Euthanasia" program sent a "Report an Experiments X-Ray Castration" to Himmler in which he stated a two-tube installation could thus sterilize 150-200 persons per day, twenty installations some 3000-4000 persons per day.
The Nazi program for the killing of Psychiatric inmates and others was extended to Dachau and the other concentration camps under the code name of 14f13. 1942. U.S. psychiatrist Foster Kennedy wrote an article in the July issue of the chief journal of the American Psychiatric Association advocating the killing of "retarded" children, the "utterly unfit", to relieve them "the agony of living" and to spare their parents expense and anguish. Kennedy said, "So the place for euthanasia i believe, is for the completely hopeless defective, natures mistake, something we hustle out of sight, which should never have been seen here at all.
1945. Lancet, the major British medical journal, published "Sterilisation of the insane in the USA." According to this article, which was based on information in the Journal of the American Medical Association, over 42,000 people were sterilized in the U.S. in the three-year period of 1941-1943. California led all other states with over 10,000 and the breakdown was: